A splash into the life of a swimmer

Madison B.

Staff Writer

The exhausting, rigorous sport of swimming has been around since the Stone Age. In the 1800’s, this sport gained popularity and was added to the 1896 Olympic games held in Athens, Greece. The goal of competitive swimming is obviously to beat the other competitors while improving one’s own time, but swimming is much more than that. It can range from recreational exercise, to high school and year-around teams, all the way to an Olympic level. One special swimmer has worked diligently at each level to get where she is today.

At age five, Woodstock junior Lauren Case began her swimming career. The summer before entering  kindergarten, she swam for her neighborhood team, the Deer Run Dolphins. This was the first experience she had with competing and racing, and what happened after that summer was unexpected. Case has now been a member of Chattahoochee Golds swim team for 10 years, as well as the Woodstock High School swim team for 3 years.  Starting at such an early age gave her a tremendous advantage as a competitive swimmer. Case said, “When I started swimming, I really only did it for fun, and so my parents could get me out of the house. I never would have thought I would be where I am today.” Her hard work and dedication to the sport has taken her above and beyond most other teenage athletes, and she continues to dive over any obstacles to get to her goal.

Starting with ‘small’ accomplishments such as winning state championship titles, Case progressed up the ranks in the swimming world. Each week putting in 20 hours of swimming, mixed with cross training, she has moved from state champion, to sectional champion, up into the ranks of a national-caliber swimmer. Her coach of 11 years, Falco Fleischmann says, “Watching Lauren swim over the years, and being able to see her grow in the sport and rankings has been exciting. She has accomplished more things than I ever thought possible.” With the support of her coaches and teammates, Case continues to impress many. In 2012, Case made the Summer Olympic Trials held in Omaha, Nebraska. She was among one of only five 13-year-olds who qualified in the country, entering the trials as one of the youngest swimmers there. Case qualified for the 200 fly with a time of 2:15.83, and placed 61st out of the 123 swimmers in the race. She said, “Being in Omaha was a very eye-opening and humbling experience. It left me hungry for me going into my future national endeavors.” Following up from trials, Case became part of the US National Junior team and traveled with the team to Irvine, California. Case placed 2nd in the 200 butterfly and had the second fastest time in the 100 fly as well. Overall, she placed 6th out of all the female swimmers at the competition.

In early April, Case will be traveling with the National Junior Team to Colorado Springs for an Olympic training camp. While here, the team of swimmers will be practicing at a high altitude for countless hours to help strengthen their lungs and get them ready for Nationals, which will be held in San Antonio this summer. There they have the opportunity to qualify to represent team USA in Singapore, in late August.

In December, Case attended the AT&T Winter National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina; this meet was open to qualified swimmers, 18 and under. Case had an exceptional performance, placing 1st in the 100 and 200 butterfly races, beating the other 56 swimmers she competed against. After competing in North Carolina, Case said, “I felt good about my performance in Greensboro. I was rankSwim MBed 15th going into the meet and came out ranked 4th, so I did much better than I even expected.” Competing at such high, competitive levels has helped raise Case’s confidence and has better prepared her for upcoming events.

In addition to her national level swimming, Case’s performances on the Woodstock High School team has been unbelievable. She has been able to sweep first place in all events she has swam, and is considered the top point scorer of the team. Coach John Gillin, varsity swim coach, said, “Lauren is unlike any swimmer I have ever had on my team. She puts all her heart into swimming, whether it’s for Chattahoochee Gold or the high school. I can always count on her to score points for the team.” This past weekend, the WHS swim team performed in the county meet, earning the title of County Champs. Having both the girls and boys win was a tremendous accomplishment. Alarii Lopez, senior, said, “We couldn’t have won the meet without her [Case]. She picked up a lot of points for the girls side.” After eight years of coming in 2nd to the competition, winning the county title was an incredible feeling for all Woodstock swimmers.

Among all of the accomplishments and awards Case has earned thus far, she is nowhere close to being done. For the second time, she qualified for Olympic trials yet again. At the 2016 Summer Olympic Trials, Case will be competing in the 200 butterfly again, but this time with the addition of the 100 butterfly as well. Many colleges have had their eyes on her for awhile. So far Texas A&M, Arizona, and Stanford are amongst her top choices. Whichever college she signs with will be more than lucky to be gaining a swimmer with such confidence, speed, and sportsmanship. Case’s long and exhilarating journey is not over yet.

 

 

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